>> welcome to al jazeera america. i'm morgan radford. here are the top stories we are following at this hour: the latest on a developing story out of north korea. where american merrill newman is now a free man and in beijing. the 85-year-old korean war vet was seized by the north korean government in october following a tourist trip. the u.s. pleaded for his belief. he was deported for humanitarian reasons. >> a jump in construction helped to bring the unemployment rate down to 7%, the lowest level in five years. the economy gained more than 200,000 positions.